The Bangladesh cricket fraternity is eagerly waiting to see Shakib Al Hasan back in action after the completion of his one-year ban imposed by ICC due to failing to report corrupt approaches made to him.
Shakib’s ban ended on October 29, and the southpaw is about to return to Bangladesh from the USA this week. Right after returning home, he will participate in a T20 league comprising five teams which will be Bangladesh’s second step towards normalising cricket activities in the country after the Covid-19 outbreak.
Earlier, BCB hosted a three-team 50-over competition to set the stage for the cricketers to get back to the game. Along with the national team members, most of the top young cricketers had participated in this event.
“I am Shakib Al Hasan, and the cricket field is my home. The time is tough, but I will come back to the field being tougher. I have been trying day and night to get back to the field wearing a red-green kit,” Shakib said in a TV commercial made based on his return.
Shakib had a month-long individual training programme at BKSP in September this year aiming to play the then scheduled Test series in Sri Lanka. However, the series was postponed due to the Covid-19 restriction. Shakib then returned to the USA to be with his family.
“You have always come back as a champ, and I cannot wait to share more match-winning partnerships with you and bring joy for our nation In Sha Allah,” Bangladesh’s former captain and one of the mainstays, Mushfiqur Rahim, wrote on his social media handle on the day before Shakib’s ban ended.
“We started our careers together as teenagers and never had to look back. Last year it came as a big shock to hear we would not be sharing a dressing room for a year. We have shared great memories, cherished all the good times and stood by each other during tough times. I am so glad that this one year is over, and we will get to take on the field together,” Mushfiqur added.
Not just Mushfiqur, nearly all the national team members welcomed Shakib, and wished him more success for Bangladesh. Allrounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz wrote on his social media handle: “Welcome Shakib bhai! I don’t have to wait more to get to the field with you. It’s a privilege to play with you and share the same dressing room. You are a living legend.”
Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed Rahi and many other cricketers have also welcomed Shakib on their respective social media handles.
During a recent interaction with the media, BCB President Nazmul Hassan said that Shakib would participate in the upcoming T20 league. However, BCB is yet to reveal details about this league. Shakib played his last competitive cricket match back on October 12 for Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League.
Shakib might make his comeback to international cricket with the home series against West Indies early next year. His last international assignment was against Afghanistan at home.